By April 19, 2017

Daisy Mountain & Black Canyon Fire Districts Closer to Consolidating

daisy mountain fire truck

UPDATE 4/19/17: The governing boards of the Daisy Mountain and Black Canyon City fire districts moved closer to consolidation after both reviewed the proposal and agreed to take the next step: Public hearings.

In a letter mailed to residents this week, the fire districts confirmed “there will be no change in property tax liability due to the proposed consolidation.”

Merging would “strengthen the emergency response to calls requiring specially trained staff” such as rope rescue, wildfires and hazardous materials, the letter stated, and reduce redundancies in equipment and employee tasks.

Both boards are in support of the consolidation, DMFD spokesperson Paul Schickel told In&Out today. Following three previous public meetings, “the Black Canyon Fire Board voted unanimously to request consolidation with Daisy Mountain Fire District,” Schickel said. “Following that, the Daisy Mountain Fire Board voted unanimously to accept Black Canyon’s request, and move forward with the process,” which includes additional public meetings.

“We think consolidation is a good thing for everyone,” Schickel said. “When it’s complete, both communities will benefit through cost sharing and the elimination of duplicated services.”

Public Meetings:

6 p.m., Thursday, May 11
Fire Station 141, 43814 N. New River Road

5 p.m., Saturday, May 20
Black Canyon Fire Station, 35050 S. Old Black Canyon Highway

After public comment, if the boards determine to proceed, consolidation could take effect July 1.

Editor’s Note: The original story below, published Feb. 13, 2017, remains as it was:

By Robert Roy Britt — The governing boards of the Daisy Mountain and Black Canyon City fire districts are considering a consolidation that could result in cost savings. Community meetings to discuss the idea are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Black Canyon City’s Fire Department chief retired in June and Daisy Mountain Fire Department has been providing administrative help since then, but does not wish to continue the current one-year arrangement, said DMFD spokesperson Paul Schickel.

If both parties can agree on a merger or consolidation that benefits both communities, it would be considered, Schickel said. “No agreements are in place,” he told In&Out, adding that DMFD would look over any proposal that Black Canyon City might put forth.

“If we can eliminate some duplication, it would be beneficial,” Schickel said. But he added that there are a lot of questions. “We don’t know yet how it might look. We don’t have all the answers as yet.”

Schickel said Daisy Mountain Fire District board members “have been adamant” that costs cannot go up as a result of any agreement. “We’re not going to send even one penny up there,” he said. “Nor would they send money down here.” By law, neither organization could pay off the bonds issued by the other, he said.

DMFD serves Anthem, Desert Hills and New River. Residents of Phoenix are served by the city. DMFD Fire Chief Mark Nichols will be at the meetings to answer questions and take public input.

Two meetings are scheduled for residents in the Daisy Mountain Fire District:

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6 p.m.
Anthem Civic Building
3701 W. Anthem Way,

Thursday, Feb. 16, 6 p.m.
Fire Station 141
43814 N. New River Rd, New River

One meeting is scheduled for residents in the Black Canyon Fire District:

Saturday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m.
Fire Station 331
35050 Old Black Canyon Hwy
Black Canyon City, AZ 85324

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